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13 August 2008

Never is a long, long time.


I would say I will never have another dog, but my grandmother used to say "Never is a long, long time." and what'ya know?! She was right!

Gunther (my dog) has diabetes and I am no longer coming unglued. I have a tentative plan.

The first part of this plan was to get a new vet. Several reasons for that - the first and most practical reason is that I can no longer afford to travel a half hour one way for a visit. Not with the visits that we will need to make. There is a vet a few blocks away - the Proximity Principle (sort of like Acoms Razor) has worked for us with Karate and chiropractic care - let's give it a try for veterinary care. I went down there and talked to the nice girl this morning - got a good positive vibe and made an appointment for Tuesday morning.

The other reasons for needing to switch relate to deteriorating service at our current vet office. Waiting more than a half hour for an appointment to start, another 15 minutes for them to find our chart so we can fork over HUGE amounts of money while they hand you a receipt that attempts to scare you into not saving some money by ordering meds on the internet. UGH! You know - if you didn't charge me $55 for a 10 minute visit, maybe I could afford to buy my meds there... just a thought.

Gunther is an otherwise healthy dog. He is a Shepherd mix and he is 11 years old. I am realistic. I want to try giving him the shots along with finding a balance with maybe a more appropriate diet for him. I can't see him going through glucose curves. He doesn't poop or eat if he is not at home. He just doesn't. This is why we never take him camping. If he responds positively to the treatment, we continue. If he is not happy with the treatment after a reasonable adjustment period - maybe a month or so - or if it changes him, like makes him nasty or if he simply deteriorates, then I will have to consider putting him down. When he reaches the next stage of the disease, I will put him down. I am not delusional. He is a senior dog. I want to help him maintain a happy life but we are not going to make a monstrous battle out of this. I knew from the beginning that he is mine only for a while and then it will be over - but I seriously never thought it would be something like diabetes! He has NEVER been overweight and he has never been fed table scraps - I have done everything I have been asked to do - he is not considered a high risk for the disease - and yet he has it. And it sucks. And it pisses me off - BIG time.

But I digress - for now... the plan is to provide him with care and then go day by day from there.

Back to the title of this post... I am fairly sure Gunther is destined to be my only dog. Never had one before - had a LOT of cats - but there is something different about a dog - maybe it is that they actually notice and care if you are not around. I don't know - but THIS is absolutely excruciating. Don't think I can live through this again. I won't say "never" but...

15 comments:

Michael Joyce said...

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you will be happy. Jenny and I are "dog people" and absolutely adore them. But I had a dog in my teenage years that had cancer and would have lots of ups and downs. She was "kinda senior", but had a great life. It was sad times, but had to put him down. My dad did the hard part and he was pretty torn up about it... but thinking back... a dogs nature is really to serve you. Sure they love to be petted and fed, but they love being a part of your life (cats could care less i think). when they stop being able to serve you and be a part of your life... it might be the best thing to do (put him/her to sleep), maybe morn a little (however long it takes) and adopt a new puppy...one that needs you. it's that cyclical nature that we have to just acknowledge and let happen. Remember too, "All dogs go to heaven." :)

Frog said...

I hear everything you're saying D. Stroke his head for me.

Saphira said...

like you said, just go one day at a time! there will never be another Gunther (did I say that right?) but someday when he is gone you may what that kind of closeness to an animal again. however, that is something you don't need to worry about right now so enjoy everyday you have with him! I have had to put one cat and one dog down, not easy!

Drowsey Monkey said...

Sorry about your pup. I know how it feel to loose one. My girl was 17 years old and when I had to let her go I was devastated, and that's not an exaggeration. Altho when my 18 year old cat went that hit me hard too.

Dogs are more work and less independent than cats. I say I'll never own a pet again too...you're grandmother is right...never is a long time. I've said "never" a few times now, lol

I'm sending positive vibes out to Gunther :) He's a cutie.

GMOM said...

I'm thinking of you. Believe it or not, you'll know what to do. I swore I'd never get another dog after Ruff and Tuff, but I did and you know the outcome... :-)

Hope William is holding up okay.

Actually, he's much better now!

Marvin the Martian said...

Gunther's lucky to have a mom like you. I agree - it's much harder to lose a dog than a cat. I've lost several cats, had them put down in my arms, held them while they slipped away. Well, helped the wife hold them. Then buried them in the backyard. But dogs are different, they're more like people.

It's brave of you to help him as much as you can, and then make the right decision if he's suffering.

DaisyBug said...

Thanks you guys - yesterday was rough. I panicked and began to come unglued - cried so much my eyes were swollen and then when I woke up this morning I decided on my plan. I know plans don't always work out but I feel safer and calmer having one. We shall see how it goes. Thanks again for all your kind thoughts. :)

Shana said...

Ya know as many times as I've heard you mention the pets, I don't think I ever really realized one of them was actually yours...lol
They are right he is a cutie, and I do hope everything works out well for him.

Shana said...

Oh and BTW my Father in Law said no more dogs after their 18 yr old Pomeranian past. But, guess what he found, a Beagle by his house,skinny,sick looking,full of porcupine quills...he took him and had him all fixed up and went and picked him up the other day.. he's in love already... :)

Sandi said...

Having a sick pet, or losing a pet, is always traumatic. Something non-pet people can't understand. We had cats when my kids were living at home, but my daughter took them with her when she moved. I've been petless ever since.

Lu. Lu. said...

one always needs a dog in their life, i think your grandmother was right. never is a long time...especially without a dog!
hope you are well~
-lu

catmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
catmom said...

He's a very special doggie, and strong. Give him a big hug from me, he's my babysitting buddy. Hey, even I learned to give Peaches his insulin shots, and he doesn't like anyone. Currently Peaches the cat is 11 years old an is not on shots or pills right now.

catmom said...

Gunther is a very special strong doggie. Please give him a big hug from me. It's his german shepherd quirks that remind me of my Demon,
who was very aptly named. Losing any pet is hard, but a new one helps you remember all the good and bad things about your lost pet. I have even learned to give my stepson's cat his insulin shots. He's 12 and is not on shots or pills at the moment.

catmom said...

catmom is an idiot today, sorry for the multiple posts.